Thank NHS staff by thinking twice, urges South Cambs poet as video goes viral
PUBLISHED: 15:30 03 June 2020 | UPDATED: 14:13 04 June 2020
A video of NHS workers on the coronavirus front line reciting a ‘thank you’ poem by a South Cambs writer has gone viral on social media, amassing around 220,000 views on Twitter alone.
Jude Simpson’s work ‘Thank Me by Thinking Twice’ was completed on Wednesday last week, ahead of the final clap for carers and the easing of the lockdown this week.
The poem is read out by NHS workers from Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge as well as others and the video was edited by Jude’s friend Erica Adcock.
Jude told the Crow: “It feels amazing and it is surreal. I feel proud of the poem – it is resonating with people, and as a poet you want really you want your words to a capture something that’s already there but people haven’t quite put it to words.”
The poem tells of ways to thank frontline staff by thinking twice about your day-to-day behaviour during the continuing pandemic, and includes the line ‘thank me by understanding that your actions still carry weight/ That the lives of the people on my ward are connected to choices you make’.
Comedian Miranda Hart has retweeted it, as has the account of the NHS Million staff campaign and TV’s Dr Hilary Jones.
Mum-of-four Jude, who grew up in Bassingbourn and now lives in Comberton, said: “I started writing poetry 18 years ago. For 10 years I was building it up and doing two or three gigs a week and then I had children and you can’t really sustain that lifestyle with young children.”
Having got back into performing her poetry, for the last two years Jude has been Home-Start Royston Buntingford and South Cambridgeshire’s poet-in-residence.
She continued: “Some people are rejoicing at this week’s relaxation of the rules, but a lot of people are anxious.
“We have much more flexibility, so the idea of ‘think twice’ is more important this week than it was last week.
“It’s about using our actions to keep people safe. It’s hard to think that decisions now – whether to go out to the park or to meet people in town – could actually affect someone’s life.
“There’s still a virus out there, even though it’s more contained than it was - my poem is about trying to connect people with that reality.”
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